Bringing broad communications experience to translational health research

23 June 2021

Katrina Cutler has managed high-profile and high-pressure challenges, including responding to international media interest immediately following Steve Irwin’s death. He was airlifted from the Great Barrier Reef by Katrina’s then-employer, CareFlight. Over her career, Katrina’s focus has shifted from media relations to communication and stakeholder engagement. In 2020, when Queensland Genomics merged with BDHP, Katrina became the Communications and Engagement Manager for both entities. Previously, she had worked in communications roles in politics, air-medical rescue and healthcare, including leading the team at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital. Before joining Queensland Genomics, she spent a decade in communications consultancy, where she looked after a diverse range of clients from government, health, property and infrastructure sectors. With stakeholder engagement at the core of what BDHP does, Katrina can share her expertise and experience with the BDHP and its partner organisations. She is particularly excited about BDHP’s plans to support leading scientists and clinician-researchers to engage meaningfully with health consumers and position Queensland’s translational research capability to increase its funding appeal. “I think consumer engagement in healthcare and research has the potential to make an enormous difference when it comes to translating research into worthwhile patient outcomes,” Katrina said. Katrina’s career highlight is establishing the Queensland Genomics Community Advisory Group and running the process that saw this Group co-design and co-develop a community-led work program. The program involved a diverse range of projects, including training for medical interpreters, a genomics patient information toolkit, scoping a genomic support service for Queensland and research papers on the patient journey, community knowledge of genomics, and the Community Advisory Group itself. Outside of work, Katrina’s commitment to community is equally as strong. She is an active co-president of her children’s primary school P&C, advocating for the needs of both students and parents.

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